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Volunteers Refloat Stranded Whales

August 24, 1993

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ Volunteers and wildlife officers brought 18 pilot whales out to sea Tuesday following an overnight rescue effort.

Department of Conservation officer Nick Hancox said 27 whales, most about 16-feet long, came ashore at Doubtless Bay, about 145 miles north of Auckland. Nine died within hours.

About 70 volunteers kept the rest wet and covered as protection from dehydration and sunburn for six hours until high tide.

They placed pontoons around two large males and used small boats to tow each slowly into deeper water. The other whales followed.

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